Question 74 : Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatu
What can we do for masjid ul aqsa from Australia?
Answer : How to help crises such as Masjid ul Aqsa and Palestine
Before we talk about what Muslims in Australia specifically can do to help the plight of Masjid ul Aqsa, let’s first remind ourselves what Muslims in general can do wherever they are.
General Muslims Response:
What Muslims can do is of two types both of which are needed to be done: (A) short term solution and (B) long term solution.
(A) Short Term Solution Need:
This varies according to the situation of each Muslim – depending on their location, position, power, authority, ability threats against them, their knowledge of Islam, their technical knowledge, etc.
So, a Muslim who is a leader of a nation has responsibility that rest of us do not and cannot. Even a leader of a Muslim nation varies depending on the strength or weakness of that Muslim nation. Depending on this, would be what a national leader can do.
Likewise, a Mufti of a strong powerful Muslim nation can say something that a Mufti of a weak Muslim nation cannot say otherwise that Mufti’s words can cause so much repercussions to the whole nation that Islam does not require to bear such a burden and hurt by the nation. Hence not all Muftis are expected to respond to a crisis like alAqsa in the same manner nor should they respond in the same one way.
People in positions of leadership representation of a body of Muslim people must weigh up the consequences for the whole nation of their words and deeds. This unfortunately is a fact that many Muslims are ignorant of and unjustly call for Muftis, Muslim leaders, etc to all make the same bold response to a crisis and this is incorrect. How do we know this is incorrect? Because when the Prophet (s.a.w) was the leader of a politically weak though Iman strong Ummah in Makkah, he did not respond in retaliation when Yasir or Sumaiyah were tortured and killed. Yet when he was the leader of an Ummah that had some political strength but not absolute, such as in Hudaybiyah, he stood firm to protect Muslims in Madinah with him yet he (s.a.w) agreed to hand over to the Mushrikin the fleeing Muslims though he knew they will be tortured by the Mushrikin. Then after Fath Makkah when the Prophet (s.a.w) was leader of an Ummah with as absolute a political strength (besides strong Iman), the Prophet responded to crisis in a more active manner – when the Romans had threatened the Northern areas, the Prophet sent an expedition so far North so as to show strength and stop the aggression from the Romans. So you can see that the same leader – or any Muslim – responds to a crisis in different ways depending on the consequences of their actions and the likely harm that comes from it and the benefit. Thus different Muslim National leaders, Muftis, local leaders, and individuals are expected to help any crisis, as with situation of Masjid al Aqsa, in different ways – each responds in a way that is lesser of the two harms, or getting more of the two benefits.
This is an important principle that Muslims cannot afford to be ignorant of. Otherwise we may be blaming a great Muslim of cowardice whereas in reality his inaction or little response for his situation may have been the most brave action that Allah wanted!
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this point!
Given the above, Muslims in a democratic country can send letters to ministers to inform them of the plight of al-Quds and Masjid ul Aqsa. They can visit the Minister etc either individually or as a group and in a civilized manner communicate the message. Likewise, Muslims can raise awareness and remind other citizens, especially fellow Muslims, of what is happening. This is part of enjoining good and forbidding wrong However it is of utmost importance that all this is done in an Islamic civilized calm polite manner.
Recently, in Canada it has been made a crime to support the call of the BDS, that is a call to boycott Israeli products as a show of protest and asking them to stop the harm being caused. So if a call to BDS is a crime for an organisation to make such a call, then there is no point for a Muslim or non Muslim organisation in Canada to call for boycotting Israeli products as a show of protest since it does more harm than good to the good doers. Whereas individuals may be able to remind each other in a personal capacity. And in a country where it is not illegal, then others can also call for a boycott to help get the message.
Once again, it varies what an organisation, its representatives, may do in their official capacity as opposed to what ordinary citizens can do in individual capacity – all actions obviously must be what is legal thus not causing more harmful an outcome, and any action must ofcourse be permissible even according to Allah’s Islam.
It is a mistake for other Muslims to blame someone such as in canada for not making public calls for boycott since it is illegal and thus more harmful than beneficial there. People often get excited and start blaming others for not responding to a crisis in a way that they believe must he responded, yet it is not the way Islamic way for that individual to respond though it maybe right for another individual in different circumstances to respond. A very important point, its ignorance causes tremendous fitnah.
In Australia we can do whatever is legal (since often it is the lesser of two harms) and halal way – letters to ministers, to media, to other figures in authority to make good happen, reminding friends about what is happening raising awareness, call for boycott if it is legal to do so here, occasionally a public demonstration maybe good in a secular democratic system though often it is not beneficial.
Very important is to dua (prayer).
As far as short term solution is concerned, the reality is that Muslims in Australia cannot make a major help since many of the non Muslims in power are completely not caring of Masjid ul Aqsa. But even a small benefit is worthwhile. However the greatest help and benefit is from the long term solution seeking, coming next.
(B) Long Term Solution Need:
For long term help to Masjid al Aqsa or anything like it, we need to realise that we are in such a state due to our disobedience of Allah and sinful life in general on a general Ummah level. Hence no course of action is the best solution if it does not address this problem of indulgence in sins – choosing the dunya over Akhirah. An example from Quran is of the people of Prophet Musa the Banu Israel. When they were commanded to go into Palestine and victory will be theirs soon, they refused and disobeyed Allah clearly and in big way persistently. So Allah banished them to the wilderness for 40 years so that the present grown ups sinful generation passes away, the youth will also go away like that until the next generation becomes adults, appreciates to sacrifice for obedience of Allah, and it is those to whom Allah gave victory in Palestine hundreds of years ago. The point here is that if we sin as an entire nation, Allah may delay the solution till the new generation returns to the obedience of Allah. We too in our time MUST become a generation who obeys Allah piously.
Only and only this will bring the long term solution to the crisis. The short term solution is needed for immediate relief but only the long term solution can solve the problem so that it does not return as we see with verses in Quran of the Prophet Musa and Banu Israel incident being left in wilderness for 40 years.
To achieve this state of a pious Ummah turning to Allah, we in Australia and elsewhere need to raise people’s awareness of an obligation to be pious and seek forgiveness from sins, ie we have to do dawah to fellow Muslims, enjoining good and forbid wrong. This helps bring the long term relief. And of course doing dua is part of both long and short term solution. Likewise is from Sunnah to do a Dua Qunut in a fard prayer and doing dua during qunut for help of such a crisis.
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Thus see the history of problems at Masjid ul aqsa in the past 100 years and it is undeniably clear that the crisis repeats itself every few years, short term solutions are a must but only help for short time, and the long term solution is lacking and must be done (ie piety).
To sum up:
We need a short term benefit seeking response such as reminding others, letters to Ministers, etc. We also need long term response with spreading dawah and piety since Allah repeatedly mentions in Quran that sins bring calamities while piety is necessary for blessings, peace and security. Do dawah yourself by being the speaker if we have the requisite knowledge for a particular talk, or help organise the spread of knowledge of Islam seeking piety, or give financial donations to employ dawah workers and pay for resources used in dawah. Remember also that what a national leader can do varies from one country to another as is with Mufti of the nation. In fact what we the common folk among Muslims can do varies too according to circumstances at your area. Thus it is not befitting of Muslim to expect same response from everyone. Allah places different people in different positions of power authority etc so as to achieve the desired result as a team depending on our position in the team. The team will be successful depending on the piety of its individuals as the Prophet informed that in later times an expedition will be granted victory due to presence in it of even one Companion (Sahabi; i.e. pious Muslims).
May Allah give this Ummah forgiveness, piety and success, ameen.
This image infographic shows the many incidents that have been recurring with Masjid Al Aqsa. Source TRTworld news.